Step 1: Register your domain name. This doesn’t really matter from whichever service you use. GoDaddy has been around for a while however they lost a lot of popularity last year not supporting the protests against SOPA act. I don’t know how much Bar Rafaeli helped them to gain back.
Step 2: Get a hosting service. This matter. First of all it should be reliable company because they are going to keep your data. Also various price ranges are out here. Technically in order to support WordPress you should choose an hosting service which support MySQL and PHP. I am really in favor of MediaTemple. Especially their GRID Service is super reliable and very easy to use, not so cheap in the beginning but very economic if you start hosting more than 3-5 sites. Bluehost is also recommended by Shane.
Step 3: Link your domain name to your hosting service by inputing the NameServer information to the hosting service.
Step 4: Once you have these two you can install WordPress. Follow the famous 5 min. installation process. It seriously takes five minutes. Only tricky thing is the stage when you are creating a database for WordPress on your web server, as well as a MySQL user who has all privileges for accessing and modifying it. You should carefully read the instruction form your hosting service. Then it is only about 3-4 clicks. If you are using MediaTemple:
a. go to your domain
b. click manage this server
c. click manage databases
d. create a database
e. allow a user to modify that or create a brand new user
You’ll use these user and database names when you are modifying the wp-config.php file throughout the 5 min. process.
Step 5: From now and on you can either use a template or start design and code from the scratch but in either way it is nice to have PHP structure provided by WordPress so you can have hands on the server-side easily.
Step 6: Once you have the WordPress installed there are thousands of free or premium themes out there that you can choose but keep in mind whatever you start with is not a given. Here are some simple and recommended ones.
I am sure you can dig and find much better ones.
You all know how to edit HTML/CSS so please once you are in the dashboard of any theme go to the editor and examine the code and see if you have better ideas for structuring or design. Themes are nothing but pieces of HTML/CSS code meta structured with PHP. Also do not hesitate to check the PHP, it is not that complicated if you are not writing it from the scratch and these systems are really hard to break. Try out different things, add/change/remove modules. Find out and use plug-ins for different functions. Let’s say image display lightbox or background image or a connecting your instagram feed to your site etc.